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Comment by Edie Antoinette on January 28, 2020 at 8:30pm

Comment by Edie Antoinette on January 27, 2020 at 7:11pm

Like the painters whose work she studied at art college, Marie Daulne’s career can be divided into a series of clearly-defined periods. Marie started out forming the polyphonic vocal quintet Zap Mama, an all-girl group who enjoyed considerable international success. But the Belgian-Congolese singer then went on to drop her a cappella ‘sisters’ and develop more of an urban sound, experimenting with rap and American soul influences in her work.

Marie Daulne was born on 20 October, 1964, in Isiro, a town in eastern Zaire, to a Belgian father and a Congolese mother. Marie’s father was killed by Simba rebels just a few days after her birth, but her mother escaped into the jungle with her four children where they were protected by a local Pygmy tribe. After surviving their period in hiding, the family managed to fly out of Zaire and make a new life for themselves in Belgium. And it was here, growing up in Belgium, that Marie discovered the full force of her ‘double culture.’ She regularly spent school holidays with her father’s family, where TV and radio were kept to a strict minimum, her grandparents preferring to listen to liturgical music and enjoy ‘chansons populaires’ from Wallonia.

Meanwhile, in her own home, Marie soaked up her mother’s Congolese culture, singing traditional songs with her mother and sisters. When Marie left home to go to art college she found that she missed her daily dose of vocal polyphony so much that she started singing a cappella with a group of friends. Marie also went on to give singing lessons, at first to children, then to adults. Meanwhile, at art school music became a vital source of inspiration for her work and she soon mastered the art of sound editing, using her voice as her primary recording tool as she could not play a musical instrument.

During her student days, Marie made a trip back to Zaire during which she renewed her links with local Pygmy tribes and discovered the Pygmies’ traditional music heritage. Marie vowed that on her return to Belgium she would devote herself to promoting African culture - a culture which, in her eyes, was all too often misrepresented in Europe. Fired with a rebellious spirit and an energetic drive, Marie set out to prove that "voices can bring about a revolution."

In 1990, Marie teamed up with four singers her own age and formed Zap Mama, an all-girl a cappella quintet. The group began performing their first concerts on the local music scene. Marie, who had since enrolled at a Belgian jazz school, was soon offered a recording contract by the independent label, Crammed. She went into the studio with her colleagues - Sylvie Nawasadio, Sabine Kabongo, Cecilia Kankonda and Céline Thooft - and in just two weeks the first Zap Mama album was finished. Produced by the Belgian musician Vincent Kenis, “Zap Mama” began to attract a lot of attention on its release in 1991.

Following the release of their first album, the group went on to perform at major venues such as the Théâtre de la Ville, in Paris. Zap Mama were also invited to appear at France’s Printemps de Bourges festival in the “rising new talent” category. Then, at the start of 1992, the well-known French singer Jacques Higelin asked Zap Mama to support him during his five-week run at Le Grand Rex, in Paris. After this, Higelin whisked the fivesome off on his extensive tour of France. A few months later, Zap Mama went on to headline at the French world music festival, Africolor.
Meanwhile, the girls had also been busy playing in New York, where their vibrant a cappella sound captivated ex-Talking Heads star David Byrne. Impressed by what he heard, Byrne re-issued Zap Mama’s debut album on his Luaka Bop label, in 1993, re-naming it "Adventures in Afropea 1." The sleeve notes described Zap Mama’s sound as "music incorporating a myriad sounds from around the globe, particularly those from the African diaspora, mixed with Euro-American traditions. Sometimes, there are words, sometimes no words, just sound!"

With their reputation spreading like wildfire, Marie and her friends found themselves invited to perform at some of the most prestigious music events worldwide, including the famous Jazz Festival in Montreux. Meanwhile, in the U.S., "Adventures in Afropea 1" remained at the no.1 spot in Billboard’s World Music chart for a full eleven weeks. Later that same year, Marie teamed up with her brother, Jean-Louis Daulne, to record the soundtrack for Mathieu Kassovitz’s film "Métisse" (released in 1993)
Zap Mama released a second album in 1994, entitled "Sabsylma." (This album featured vocals by the Cameroonian singer Sally Nyolo, recruited to join Zap Mama at the end of 1992). This second album revolved around the group’s signature a cappella style, but was a great deal more energetic than their first, reflecting the spirit of a group who were constantly on the move. A number of songs on "Sabsylma" revealed Indian, Moroccan and even a hint of Australian influences. Musically speaking, Zap Mama’s second album was quite an achievement with sounds being dissected then reassembled in fascinatingly new and complex ways. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award, in the "Best World Music Album" category, which boosted Zap Mama’s international standing even further. In June 1994, the group presented their new songs at the Théâtre de Paris.

Most of 1995 was taken up with an extensive international tour which included an appearance at the Printemps de Bourges music festival, in France, as well as dates across Switzerland, Japan and Zimbabwe. The end of 1995 marked what might be described as the end of Zap Mama’s “first period.” From this point on, the group underwent a radical change of line-up and Marie Daulne began experimenting with instrumental backing and a more urban sound.

1997: "Seven"
After spending some time in Mali, Marie Daulne re-emerged on the music scene in 1997 with a new album entitled "Seven" (the title refers to the “seventh sense”, the healing power of music). The only singer who remained from the old Zap Mama line-up at this point was Sabine Kabongo. And backing vocalists now included Marie’s mother, Bernadette (who had formed her own group, Nabindibo). Marie introduced instruments on “Seven” for the first time, experimenting with bass, drums, guitar and keyboards. A number of prestigious guest stars appeared on “Seven” including the Jamaican deejay U Roy and Michael Franti (the American singer who founded the group Spearhead). Marie embarked upon an extensive tour following the album release, kicking things off with a concert in New Orleans and going on to play dates in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In the autumn of ‘98, she and her new band performed a series of concerts across Africa.

Marie took her forays into urban sounds even further on her new album, "A Ma Zone", released in October 1999. This album featured contributions from Cameroonian sax star Manu Dibango as well as prominent American rap artists such as Black Thought (The Roots) and Speech (Arrested Development).
After a concert at the Café de la Danse, in Paris, Congolese rumba star Koffi Olomidé invited Marie to support him at one of his mega-concerts at Bercy stadium, in Paris, in February 2000. Later that year, Marie left her home in Europe and moved to the U.S. where her career took off shortly after her arrival. After living in New York for a year, she began to spend an increasing amount of time in Philadelphia, working in a studio owned by The Roots.

In June 2001, Marie performed a series of dates with the American singer Erykah Badu. The pair prolonged their collaboration on Erykah Badu’s album, "Worldwide Underground", released in 2003. Later that same year, Marie - aka Zap Mama – also performed live on stage with French duo Les Nubians. Marie’s new album "Ancestry In Progress" (the fruit of her work in the U.S.) was released in 2004, despite the fact that it had been officially finished in 2002. The album, produced by The Roots’ manager Richard Nichols, featured a number of duets with artists such as Erykah Badu and the rappers Talib Kweli and Common. (Marie had guested on Common’s album, "Electric Circus", in 2002).

Marie, who by this point had returned from the States to live in Belgium again, performed at the legendary Paris venue Le New Morning in November and December 2004. She also guested on "The Meal", an album recorded by hip French electro duo Château Flight, whom Marie had met the previous year when she performed at a concert by The Roots in Paris.
In April 2005, Marie performed a series of 18 concerts in the U.S. and she also embarked upon an extensive European tour, performing at all the top music festivals that year. She kept up her busy schedule throughout 1996, performing her “Woman Tour” on both sides of the Atlantic. Marie also guested on "Long Walk To Freedom", an album by the legendary South African choir Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
2007: "Supermoon"

Marie released a new album, “Supermoon”, at the end of 2007, presenting her new songs to American fans at some twenty concerts across the U.S. "Supermoon" featured contributions from a number of the singer’s old friends including Michael Franti, the Belgian rocker Arno and celebrity bassist Meshell Ndegeocello. “Supermoon” (its title inspired by the notion of what it means to be a “supermoon” rather than a superstar) was a softer, more intimate album. On it, Marie experimented with more of a soul and rap vibe, celebrating her love of black American music and her European ties and synthesizing the various cultures she had experienced in her career, now spanning over fifteen years.

November 2007

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Introspection

Spotlight | Maze

  1. play Maze — 03 Feel That You're Feelin'
  2. play Maze — 04 Somebody Else's Arms
  3. play Maze — 04 Southern Girl
  4. play Maze — Can't Get Over You
  5. play Maze — Golden Time Of Day
  6. play Norman Brown — Night Drive
  7. play Norman Brown — Feeling
  8. play Norman Brown — Still
  9. play Miles Davis — miles 1
  10. play miles 2
  11. play miles 3
  12. play miles 4
  13. play miles 5
  14. play Marvin Gaye — I Met A Little Girl
  15. play Santana — 01 Singing Winds, Crying Beasts
  16. play Santana — 02 Black Magic Woman-Gypsy Queen
  17. play Mongo — 02. Afro Blue



The history of the Butlers/Raw Soul is dense, but for all of us music nerds, that's normal. It is not totally clear what year the Butlers actually formed but they released their first single in 1963 on Liberty Records. That single was "She Tried To Kiss Me" and another single followed on Guyden entitled "Lovable Girl." After the Guyden single the Butlers took a break not recording another record until the single "Laugh, Laugh, Laugh" was released on the Phila label in 1966. The group also backed Charles Earland and Jean Wells on one Phila single ("I Know She Loves Me"). 


As you might be noticing, the Butlers were doing a fair amount of recording but not achieving much success. The group's recordings sold regionally but never had the promotion to make an impact on the national scene. After the single with Phila, the Butlers moved to the Fairmount label (part of the Cameo-Parkway family) and released a handful of singles, some being reissued singles of the past. The Butlers were with Fairmount for 1966-67 and then moved to Sassy Records. Sassy released the group's greatest single (in my opinion) "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" b/w "If That's What You Wanted." A copy of that 45 sold for just under $500 last summer on eBay. Even though that isn't that much in the world of record collecting--it's still a hefty sum. The Butlers released another single on Sassy ("She's Gone" b/w "Love Is Good") that appears to be even 
harder to come by then the "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" single.

 

The true history become a bit blurred here as the AMG biography states that the Butlers last record was released on C.R.S. in 1974 (". However, between 1971 and that single, Frankie Beverly formed a group called Raw Soul and released a number of singles. Some of the songs recorded by Beverly during this period are "While I'm Alone," "Open Up Your Heart," (both on the Gregor label) and "Color Blind." "Color Blind" was released by the Eldorado label and rerecorded by Maze. Beverly's big break came when Marvin Gaye asked Raw Soul to back him on a tour. Gaye helped Beverly/Raw Soul get a contract at Capitol. Beverly decided to take the group in a different direction, a name change occurred, and Maze was created. 

The above isn't the most complete history of Beverly but hopefully someone will know a way to get in touch with the man or his management because a comprehensive pre-Maze history needs to be done on Frankie Beverly (his real name is Howard, by the way). Below you'll find every Frankie Beverly (pre-Maze) song available to me right now ("Color Blind" will be up soon). 

If you have a song that is not included below, shoot it over to funkinsoulman (at) yahoo.com and it will go up in the next Frankie Beverly post (later this week--highlighting Maze). Also, if you have any more information please share your knowledge. The Butlers material has been comp-ed sporadically (usually imports) but the entire Maze catalog has been reissued and is available. 

Enjoy.  "She Kissed Me" (Fairmount, 1966 or 1967) 
 
 "I Want To Feel I'm Wanted" (not sure which label or year) "Laugh, Laugh, Laugh" (Phila, 1966) "Because Of My Heart" (Fairmount, 1966 or 1967)
   
 "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" (Sassy, 1967)
   
 "If That's What You Wanted" (Sassy, 1967)
 



Frankie Beverly is one of those cats that has lasting power. He started in the music business doing a tour with doo wop group the Silhouettes and then formed his own group called the Blenders. The Blenders never recorded a single, Beverly wouldn't appear on wax until forming the Butlers a few years later. Along with Beverly, the Butlers included Jack "Sonny" Nicholson, Joe Collins, John Fitch, and Talmadge Conway.

Beverly would later enjoy great success fronting Maze and Conway would become a
well-known penning Double Exposure's
"Ten Percent" and the Intruders' "Memories Are Here To Stay." 
 While Maze is a phenomenal group, Beverly's work before that group will always stand out as his best (imo).

The Butlers produced tunes that most Northern Soul fans would kill for and Raw Soul gave the funksters something to pursue. If, by chance, you know of a way to get in touch with Frankie Beverly or his management, please drop me an e-mail. It would be absolutely great to do an interview with him about his pre-Maze work. He's still playing out, most recently doing a New Year's Eve show in Atlanta.
:: Funkinsoulman ::

Power...Through Simplicity ♪♫♪

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